10 Best Limited Ingredient Dog Foods 2020

Limited ingredient diets are a great choice for dogs who have allergies or food sensitivities. Whether your dog has a sensitive stomach or a food allergy, the simple ingredients used in these formulas can help clear up the most common food-related problems.

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Here, we will highlight some of the best limited ingredient dog food brands and formulas to help you choose the right one for your dog.

There are many things to take into consideration before selecting one, so refer to our useful guide where you’ll find all of the information you need before purchasing.

Top 10 Limited Ingredient Dog Foods Table

PictureNameIntended For…PriceRating (1-5)
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1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog FoodPuppies and Adults$$4.6
2. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited-Ingredient Dry Adult Dog FoodAdults$$4.6
3. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog FoodAdults$$4.5
4. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog FoodSmall Breeds$$4.5
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Dry Dog FoodAdults$4.4
6. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog FoodAdults$4.4
7. PS For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog FoodPuppies and Adults$$$4.4
8. The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Minimalist Limited Ingredient Dog FoodPuppies and Adults$$$$4.2
9. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Duck Recipe Pet FoodPuppies and Adults$$4.2
10. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog FoodAdults$$4.1

When to Use a Limited Ingredient Food

If you have started to notice some strange symptoms from your dog after every meal, then it could be linked to a food allergy.

Some of the most common symptoms of food allergies include itchy skin (they may scratch or lick the front feet often), problems digesting and gas, inflamed ears or diarrhea.

It’s always best to get a professional opinion from your vet, but if you already know that the food is the issue, then limited ingredient formulas should be able to help your pooch get back on track.

Understand the Allergens

While grains, corn, and soy are the most common culprits, proteins, dairy and egg could also be the cause.

Some dogs have problems digesting fish while others can’t handle chicken, so you’re going to have to monitor them closely once you start a limited ingredient diet to figure out what their system can’t tolerate.

Do You Know Which Ingredients to Avoid?

Choosing a brand of food is one thing, but you have to remember that some brands offer different formulas. Some of these formulas use a single protein source used (fish only, for example) rather than using a mixture of protein sources. Others may only contain a single type of carbohydrate or just one fat source.

Since your dog can’t tell you what is bothering him, you’re going to have to keep track of his behavior when the new food is introduced to see how he reacts.

Top 3 Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food Reviews

1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

Since Natural Balance makes many limited ingredient formulas; we will focus on one of the most popular ones and discuss it in this review.

As a grain-free formula, dogs that have sensitivities to things like wheat and barley might do well with it. They’ve used sweet potatoes and potato protein instead of the grains, and the main meat source is from venison..

We can see this being a good choice for inactive dogs since it has a lower Crude Fat minimum (just 10%) with a 20% Crude Protein minimum.

If you’re still testing out foods with your dog, then you can get the smallest bag (this one), which is 4.5 pounds of kibble. They are also available in 13-pound and 16-pound bags if it ends up being a great match for your dog.

Natural Balance makes some of the best limited ingredient dog food, and they offer a wide variety of flavors.

2. Blue Buffalo’s Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato

If you need to avoid red meats, fish, and grains, then give Blue Buffalo’s Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato Recipe a try.

Unlike the previous food, this is a single-protein source kibble that works great for dogs who have trouble digesting certain meats or fish. We like that the formula contains no corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs in addition to being free of grains, and it is also gluten-free!

The Crude Fat minimum was slightly higher than the previous formula at 12%, but the Crude Protein minimum was still the same.

They offer quite a few different formulas, too, so if turkey doesn’t work, you can try something else. They have duck, lamb, and salmon, plus there are small breed formulas, large breed formulas, and a senior formula, too.

They offer you plenty of choices to help you find the right match for your dog.

3. Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient

While most recipes use potatoes in place of grains, this formula does not. It is free of dairy, eggs, potatoes, corn, wheat and soy.

As a single protein source kibble, you’ll only find lamb in the formula. We found that their selection was much smaller than the previous two brands (they only have duck, salmon, and turkey as the alternatives), and the Crude Fat minimum was much higher at 16%. It might not be the best formula for overweight dogs because of this.

Keep in mind that the kibble size is small, so larger dogs might not break them down if they tend to eat fast.

It’s a good brand to try, and if it doesn’t work out, try any of the other great brands we highlighted in our table.